Bryan Browns has been appointed director of the Suffolk County...

Bryan Browns has been appointed director of the Suffolk County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency.  Credit: Rick Kopstein

Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine has announced another round of administrative appointments, naming Bryan Browns director of the county’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency and Christopher Clayton county attorney.

Browns, an attorney, was most recently chief legal operations officer for the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County and served on Romaine's transition team. He succeeds Paul Margiotta, who retired in December as former County Executive Steve Bellone left office.

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Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine has announced another round of administrative appointments, naming Bryan Browns director of the county’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency and Christopher Clayton county attorney.

Browns, an attorney, was most recently chief legal operations officer for the Legal Aid Society of Suffolk County and served on Romaine's transition team. He succeeds Paul Margiotta, who retired in December as former County Executive Steve Bellone left office.

Clayton was most recently special counsel to Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney and succeeds acting county attorney Dennis Brown.

Both appointments require confirmation from the legislature, where Republicans hold a 12-6 majority.

Romaine, a Republican, also announced Monday that former Legis. Rudy Sunderman, most recently executive director of the Suffolk County Fire Academy, will serve as a deputy commissioner of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services.

Sunderman, a Shirley Republican, resigned from his legislative post in 2021 after pleading guilty to filing a false financial disclosure form to the county's ethics board. Prosecutors said he tried to circumvent the board's ruling that he could not continue working for two separate fire districts while serving as a legislator. Sunderman, who was sentenced to a conditional discharge and fined $1,000, maintained the charge was politically motivated.

Romaine also announced Leslie Mitchell as a deputy commissioner in the Department of Public Works, a position she previously held.

Romaine spokesman Mike Martino did not immediately provide salaries for the officials or make them available for comment.

The appointments came three weeks after Romaine announced an initial round of top positions, including Kevin Molloy, his chief of staff while he was Brookhaven Town supervisor, who is now chief deputy county executive.

The administration has not said how many appointees from the administration of Bellone, a Democrat, have left or how many people have been hired or retained since Romaine took office. His transition team requested last month that all Bellone appointees submit their resignations by Jan. 1.

Browns will lead an agency that could see significant changes. Administrative fees tacked onto traffic tickets generated revenue when the county was in financial trouble, but the county faces lawsuits over them and Romaine has hinted they could be repealed.

“It [the traffic agency] has to act with justice in mind and not producing revenue,” Romaine said during his inauguration ceremony. “I am not interested in nickel-and-diming our citizens.”

The county charges a $55 fee on traffic tickets in addition to a $147 fine and an $88 state surcharge. A $30 fee added to the county's $50 red light camera ticket was repealed by the legislature in 2022.

The fees accounted for about $11.5 million of the department’s $61 million in revenue in 2022, according to the 2024 county budget. The agency had about $18 million in expenses that year.

Both fees have been challenged in court.

In June an Elmont man filed a lawsuit against the county seeking a declaration the $55 traffic ticket fee is illegal.

The county is appealing a court ruling that found the $30 fee on red light tickets unconstitutional.

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